Haiti: The Failure of Politics

By Brian Weinstein; Aaron Segal | Go to book overview
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dictatorship" and in other ways it used the older methods of political and economic control, which has been called "soft dictatorship." The basic pattern of disrespect for institutions and emphasis on personal ties persisted in both types of dictatorship. And, of course, the disdain--if not hate--for the majority of Haitians in the second world was undiminished. The military men who replaced Duvalier could not be expected to make any changes in a system from which they had profited.

The idea that revolution had begun in Haiti was an error. What happened on 7 February 1986 was the first in a series of desperate coups d'état staged by Duvalierists who realized the present Duvalier was undermining their system. If the demonstrations had continued much longer, a true revolution or a protracted civil war might have occurred. Such conflicts would probably have destroyed the heart of the Duvalierist system, government by franchise.

"Message of President Roosevelt to Congress," 6 December 1904, excerpt in Arthur C. Millspaugh , Haiti under American Control 1915-1930 ( Boston: World Peace Foundation, 193 1), p. 197. See also Rayford W. Logan, The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with Haiti, 1776-1891 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1941), p. 328.
Brenda Gayle Plummer, Haiti and the Great Powers, 1902-1915 ( Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press 1988), pp. 53-57.
Hans Schmidt, The United States Occupation of Haiti: 1915-1934, ( New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1971), pp. 4, 5-6. Unless otherwise noted, we are depending on Schmidt for this history of the U.S. occupation.
Cited by Plummer, Haiti, p. 188.
See Suzy Castor, La occupación norteamericana de Haití y sus consecuencias (1915-1934) ( Mexico: Siglo Veintiuno, 1971). Revised French version, L'occupation américaine d'Haiïti ( Port-au-Prince: Société Haïtienne d'Histoire, 1988). For details about German interests see Plummer, Haiti, p. 44.
Schmidt, The United States Occupation, p. 41.
For details see Robert Debs Heinl Jr., and Nancy Gordon Heinl, Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492-1971, ( Boston: Houghton Miflin, 1978), pp. 373-404.
Lester D. Langley, The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898-1934 ( Chicago: Dorsey, 1985), p. 129.
Millspaugh, Haiti under American Control, p. 88.
Alex Dupuy, Haiti in the World Economy: Class, Race, and Underdevelopment since 1700 ( Boulder: Westview, 1989), p. 136.
Jacques Stéphen Alexis Compère Général Soleil, 3d ed. ( Paris: Gallimard, 1955), p. 101, fn. 1.
Roger Gaillard, Les blancs débarquent: 1915 premier écrasement du Cacoïsme, 2d ed. ( Port-au-Prince: Roger Gaillard, 1982), pp. 69-72. See also Castor, La occupación, pp. 122-23.
Gaillard, Les blancs, p. 91.


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